Am writing to you from my beautiful, sunny home in Málaga, Spain! After a month of siestas, tapas, siestas, long walks by the sea, siestas, Latin eye-candy, and siestas, I'm feeling quite Spanish, and very much at home.
A story of courage
Yesterday, I had to sort out my Spanish ID card and learned it was a bank holiday. Everything would be closed, my brain knew that. But I felt so compelled to go to the Foreign Embassy anyway. Try my luck, since their website said they were open.
On my way there, I saw a young woman dressed as a clown on the street corner. At every red light, she ran into the middle of the big boulevard and performed some high kicks and juggling tricks. She then went car to car asking for donations.
I stood there in awe, witnessing her courage. Red light, after red light, after red light, she ran into the boulevard, and performed with the enthusiasm of New Year's Eve fireworks. Would you do it, run into the red light? Would you be brave like she was?
Málaga, Spain 2017 © Ellany Lea
A story of sisterhood
So I tapped her shoulder and said, "You are so brave," and handed her 5€. She froze. For a moment, time stood still: she saw the awe that I had for her. Her eyes glistened with awe. So there we stood, frozen in time, mirroring each other's awe.
I leaned in to hug her and she pulled me in really tight, for 65 whole seconds (the street light had a timer). We stood there, perfect strangers, holding each other.
She said my gift had solved all her problems. She thought it was going to be a long hard day. And now, it's not. She thanked me profusely for being a sister. She wanted to repay me, so she took one of the puffy red flowers off her costume to give to me.
She had no idea that she gifted me far, far more. My brain knew it was a bank holiday but my heart knew it needed to go to the Foreign Embassy anyway. She helped me confirm, once and for all, that my heart is, indeed, clairvoyant.
A story of Breadcrumbs
As far as I can remember, aside from a few toys I wanted when I was 7 and 8, all I ever wanted was to be free.
To be free of filial piety [the sacrificial duties of the eldest son]. To be free to do what I want and go where I please, without ropes of guilt tugging at my ankles. To be free of incompetent teachers who thought they knew best, but didn't. To be free of academic institutions who only taught conformity and submission. To be free of incompetent bosses who made it there because they are male. To be free of corporate institutions who shackled me to a desk to rot.
If there was a "Least likely to become an entrepreneur" award, I'd win it. I embraced entrepreneurship anyway because it's the only way to be free, truly free. Free to live and work from anywhere, free to set my own schedule, free to visit any friend or attend any workshop at anytime, free to prioritize health and friendship over burn out and isolation.
A story of Exquisite Freedom
So in 2015, I went on 16-country Around-the-World Exquisite Freedom tour, living in a different country every week, looking for my new home.
Along the way, of all the plentiful options in Spain, I chose to visit Málaga where my friend Maria's parents live. We'd worked together, but had never met in person. She flew in from France, I flew in from Morocco, we ate delicious tapas, took walks by the Mediterranean, and laughed out loud under the warm February sun!
But I hadn't felt it. You know, the "it" that you feel in your bones when something is just right. So I went on another Around-the-World tour in 2016... this time to 50+ countries to see which glass slipper fit best.
A Story of Elimination
After trying on 104 countries, the top contender's for Ella's new home were: Argentina, Portugal, and Spain.
I didn't want to learn a 7th language, so Portugal got ruled out. I looked at real estate in Argentina and its economic stability concerned me, so it also got ruled out. Spain it is!
I tried Barcelona, which felt too busy. I've lived in NYC, Hong Kong, and Singapore and was done wearing busyness as a badge of worthiness. I also tried Mallorca, but I need to be grounded to the continent. When I skyped Maria to dig deeper about Málaga, where we met a year ago, she told me she just moved to Málaga!! What were the chances?!?
A few hilarious emails later, I moved in with her.
Serendipity is mysterious at the beginning, long and torturous in the middle, and magical in the end.
PLAYING CHESS WITH THE UNIVERSE
Of all the countries, cities, boulevards, days and times I could have walked by the gal running into the red light to validate that my heart is clairvoyant... what serendipity!
These serendipity threads, interwoven in a way that our human brains cannot comprehend, are mysterious at the beginning, long and torturous in the middle, and magical in the end.
It really is like playing chess with the Grand Master Universe. Your move, my move. Your move, my move.
I sat on a nearby park bench for hours, crying after hugging the girl who ran into the red light. Such tiny encounters, such grand validations:
- When you feel compelled to do something, even though it doesn't make any logical sense, do it!
- Listen to your bones for when something feels right.
- Listen to your gut for when something feels wrong.
- It takes time to trust your natural gift. It took me 27 years to turst in my clairvoyance. Social indoctrination made us believe that being different meant being wrong. When in truth, the difference is the gift.
- True giving leaves you energized, not depleted.
Plus, I'm sure I soaked up bucket loads of sadness and sorrow from her body because there was no good rhyme or reason why I'd be crying so much for so long after hugging her. Being an empath sucks. Sometimes. Mostly.